“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Rom 3:10-18 NIV)
Nestled along the shores of Lake Thun with vineyard-draped hills as a backdrop, you will find the lovely little town of Spiez. This beautiful Swiss village is especially renowned for a quaint castle overlooking the lake.
As we wanted to visit the castle, we pulled into the parking lot. Once there however, we couldn’t park. A car, illegally parked, blocked the entrance, and the car’s owners, a man and his wife, were arguing loudly about the parking spot. From behind our windshield, we could hear every word of their argument. How we wished we were someplace else!
I couldn’t help but ask: “Why would they fight in public?”
Then it hit me then that I was no better. As a newly-wed, I argued with my beloved wife, and it wasn’t over a parking place either! It was over who would answer the phone! There were other times, too, times when I insisted on my own way, and it is with shame that I remember how my head would fume with indignation as my mouth spewed forth angry words!
It’s true that we sometimes think of ourselves as better than other people. Especially when we compare ourselves to Nero and Hitler. But in reality, when it comes to treating others with gallantry, we have all stooped way too low. The problem, you see, is that too often we put ourselves first! As if we are more important than other people!
Jesus turned the tables: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Phil 2:3 NIV)
If we would only follow these wonderful words of wisdom, it would put a stop to the haunting embarrassing moments, and it would lead us to a meaningful life where love from above can germinate and create colourful, attractive flowers in our lives.
Remember, we are ALWAYS surrounded by involuntary spies. May we show them what true living truly is, for when we are left to our own devices, we are far from desirable!
Are you looking for a parking place? Let me help you!
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)